At IMS, we work closely with clients to identify, and then obtain access to, the right conferences for clients. Just as important as choosing the right investor conference is ensuring that your time spent at the conference is productive. A few guidelines:
1) Pick your conferences carefully
Participate in conferences aligned with your market cap with attending investors who are legitimate candidates to buy your stock. As a micro or small cap company, it is easy to get enamored of the invitation-only conferences hosted by the larger banks, but be selective with your participation. These larger conferences are an important step in building your relationships with the banking community and demonstrate to Wall Street that you are nurturing sponsorship opportunities on your way to becoming a larger business. However, small companies at larger bank conferences at times have empty rooms and light one-on-one schedules. This is not a reflection on the company; it’s simply that the investors attending the conference are larger cap oriented.
Take destiny into your own hands. If your schedule is not filling up, compress your one-on-one availability with the conference administrator early in the process, and use the balance of the day for one-on-one meetings outside the conference which you can set up on your own.
2) Screen your meetings
You have no obligation to take every meeting that appears on a conference schedule. Assess the value of each meeting, and don’t waste your time (or the other person’s) if you determine that the meeting is not a fit. Cancel it – there are no hard feelings and you can then leave the spot open for a meeting that will be more productive; ideally, a good open market investor.
3) One-On-One success: Use an abbreviated presentation for your 30-minute meetings and emphasize a conversational, Q&A approach
The one-on-one meeting is the chance for investors to get to know management better in an intimate setting. Don’t kill the investor with PowerPoint; create a compressed deck of 5 to 7 slides that you can review quickly, leaving more time for the interactive discussion.
4) Always Follow up
Conferences are hectic. No matter how good your company is, it can easily be lost in the high volume of presentations and meetings. Open market investors frequently need more than one meeting to get comfortable with a company and its management, so have your investor relations team follow up with investors after the conference and make the time for a follow up call or meeting.
John Nesbett, President, IMS